Thursday, December 31, 2015

To The Journey: Rewatching Voyager's Endgame

I wish I had more time. Or maybe an injection of chronexiline. I'd love to write about Lineage, Author, Author, or Workforce. But, I'm out of time. I'm watching Endgame as I write this and, at the moment, I feel like taking back the stuff I said about how Shattered should've been the Voyager finale. 

I still stand by what I said about Shattered being a fantastic episode but, even only twenty minutes in, I'm already feeling many emotions about the finale. The last time I watched this one I'd spent the prior eleven months storming through Trek. I'd watched about three episodes a day, every day, and I'd lived a life of Star Trek and, even though I wasn't aware of it, I was about to show the effects of Trek Burnout. I still loved Voyager and I still felt sad when it was over but I distinctly remember feeling not only the pressure of having to squeeze all of Enterprise into December but also the entire weight of My Year of Star Trek sort of hovering over me. 

That was 2013. Now, somehow, it's about six hours away from 2016. The last couple of years have been a whirlwind. 2015 has been especially ridiculous. I finished the Awesome Jones sequel and turned it in. Silver Tongue came out and on the same night someone very close to me attempted suicide. I took time away from basically everything. I wrote a new and unexpected book. I changed the way I eat and the way I lift. I got new personal records in bench and squat. I booked last minute travel arrangements so that we could be in Kentucky when my father-in-law had emergency heart surgery then I sat in his hospital room late at night watching Voyager while he slept. Three anxious weeks passed there. We came home and I resumed revisions on the new book then spent a month doing nothing but drawing for Inktober. I got sick. I pulled my intercostal muscles. I developed an infection. I came back. I started playing the violin. I saw Star Wars. I saw Star Wars. I saw Star Wars. I saw Star Wars with my dad and sisters. I saw Star Wars. I saw Star Wars on the Disney Lot--that was today. 

And now, suddenly, it's almost a new year and I'm watching Endgame. 

I still think mistakes were made. Seven and Chakotay still seem like a forced, unnecessary, sudden relationship. I still think it suffers from being easily compared to All Good Things. But, unlike TNG's storied finale, wherein Picard is an unwitting player, slipping through his own timestream at the hands of Q, Janeway is active. As in all of Voyager, Janeway takes charge of her own destiny--the destiny of her crew, her family. Janeway is on a mission. A mission to get her crew home earlier, to save Seven of Nine, her almost daughter. 

Janeway, twenty-five years after getting Voyager (sans Seven) home, she hatches a plan with Reg Barclay to go back and fix some of the stuff that's been nagging her all this time. She gets a special time-proof vaccine from the doc, grabs a shuttle, snatches a Klingon time deflector, and shoots herself back into her own timeline--with the help of Captain Harry Kim. Janeway pops into the timeline as we know it and tells her past Janeway she's come back with the purpose of getting them all home earlier but they have to fly into a recently passed nebula--a nebula crawling with Borg. 
Things I love about Endgame: 
-Seven playing kadis-kot with Neelix over Facetime. 
-Tom and B'Elanna readying themselves for a baby in the midst of all this and I love how far they've come as a couple. I love that they've gotten used to the idea of raising their daughter in the Delta Quadrant. 
-Captain Harry Kim is the most interesting version of Harry Kim so far and it makes me wish they'd found more to do with him besides just giving him terrible love interests 
-Future Reginald Barclay (like all versions of Barclay) is my BFF. 
-Miral Paris is a total BAMF and I love her. 
-Tuvok's emotional/mental struggle is heartbreaking but I wish there'd been more time to go into it. 
-I LOVE Voyager's kickass new shields. 
-The Borg Queen is a perfect final villain for Janeway and her ship. It might not be as perfectly cyclical as Q's seven-year-sparring match with Picard but the Janeway/Seven/Borg Queen trifecta is a good matchup and it's not only satisfying to see them face off one last time it also totally makes sense that their way home is a Borg transwarp hub. 
-The last senior officer meeting and Harry Kim's speech. 
-I love how dogged Admiral Janeway is. How ready she is to do anything for her crew.

In the end, Janeway does it. She finds a way to bring her crew home. The atmosphere on Voyager's bridge when they emerge in the Alpha Quadrant--that of almost disbelief--is perfect. The relief, the longheld anticipation, the realization of their goal is tangible and just rigiht.

I think the only thing missing here, for me, is the after-effect of their arrival. Voyager is so much about what it means to be a family but the last twenty minutes of the finale are all about Janeway's battle with the Borg Queen. I wish there'd been time, as in All Good Things, to take a breath and let this crew be a family together, in the Alpha Quadrant, having finally, after everything they've been through, succeeded. That's what I need, on this New Year's Eve, a moment of reflection, of peace. 


  1. I think after Deep Space Nine spent half its final episode after the end of the Dominion War (but with the threat of Dukat continuing to loom), Voyager just wanted its own finale to end the way the series began, with the promise of further adventure and a return to the unknown (this time, the reverse). The only way it could have gone any different was if "Endgame" had been structured like an episode of Lost. But Lost wouldn't exist for another three years...!

    Your life sounds far too eventful. And fun!

  2. I admit that I sort of dropped off somewhere in Season 5 a few months ago but I plan to make some time to go through the rest of the episodes. I always love hearing your thoughts on the episodes and how they're intertwined with your actual life. Thanks for going on this journey and all the best to you!


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